By: Gwen Galloway

 (GNN) – The date towards Asteroid Icarus2’s unavoidable impact with Earth is hurtling closer with each passing day. Several countdown clocks have been created, including ones by the American and Russian governments. It is suspected that North Korea and some countries in South America have also created their own individual “countdown” clocks to Icarus2’s impact. With the time gap slowly growing smaller, so does the religious fervor slowly grow larger.

According to reports by representatives in Vatican City, public masses and participation is at an all-time high. Increased crowds have been reported praying in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.  Mosques located in Egypt, Pakistan, Kuwait, Algeria, Armenia, India, and the United States have reported increased attendance. Various other religious leaders have reported an increased rate in the number of participants attending sermons, ceremonies, and other religious gatherings.

There is a creeping fear for many as Icarus2 draws ever near, leading people to embrace religious practice. According to Laura Daniels, a professor of Appreciation of Scripture at Boston University, the behavior we’re seeing worldwide is both expected and understandable.

“People find solace in religion, it provides them with a sense of foundation in an otherwise chaotic and uncontrollable situation.”

According to Daniels, people have been predicting the end of the world since the beginning of the written word. All major religions have different names for it: Judgment Day, Armageddon, the Hour, the Day of the Lord, the War of Gog and Magog, Shambhala, and each comes with their own beliefs and stipulations.

For example, the Shambhala belief – which comes from Hinduism – believes the “end of the world” does not end in death but rather enlightenment. Christians believe in Judgment Day, where Jesus will save the true believers, while non-believers will be left behind to suffer eternally.

The contention for some is that religion isn’t a fact, but rather a belief system.

A scientist working at Los Alamos National Laboratory told us, “Religion gives some people comfort, I get that. But it’s not a fact, it’s a blanket. A warm one but it’s not gonna stop hypothermia from crawling in.” A team of scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory is currently working on various potential responses to Icarus2’s impact. “Facts say this thing is gonna hit us, it’s coming no matter what. We can only prepare for the impact and fallout the best we can.”

However, many religious leaders aren’t disputing facts, or the existence of Icarus2 itself. An Islamic scholar and consultant with a Masters in Religious Philosophy, stated “Those of us who do believe understand the reality of our current situation. And we are all handling the situation as best we can.” When asked on how he was handling the impending impact of Icarus2, Mahmoud went on to state, “For myself and my family, we pray. We spend more time together. We read our texts. We hold on to faith. That’s what religion means to us and many others around the world. Not the refusal to acknowledge reality, but the acceptance of it and belief in our faith.”

As the rise of religion continues, so does hate crimes. Various religious groups are blaming marginalized communities for the future asteroid impact. In Europe, hate crimes against the Romani, Muslim, and Jewish communities have risen, with unrest stirring in other parts of the world as well.

“Everyone is looking for someone to blame,” said a Foresight scientist that wished to remain anonymous. “The fact is there is no one to blame. I’m an honest Catholic woman, but I’m also a scientist, and science says Icarus2 wasn’t created by human hands, but by space. There’s nothing any of us could have done to stop it from forming, but we can try to stop it from destroying our planet.”

Science says asteroids were formed through the formation of our solar system, leftover bits of airless rocks that range in shape and size. Some religions say the solar system was created by a higher power beyond our comprehension. Science says Icarus2’s impact is a natural event that no one could have predicted. Some religions say it is the end of days as foretold in their own respective scriptures.

There is even a fringe group, though low in numbers and support, that has begun gaining some traction in pockets of the United States, who believe the asteroid has been sent to cleanse the Earth and save humanity.

The only fact everyone can agree on is that Icarus2’s impact is unavoidable, and it is coming.